Problem-plagued Sukhoi Superjet fails take-off at Moscow airport

MOSCOW Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:52am EST

MOSCOW Feb 25 (Reuters) - A Sukhoi Superjet 100 failed to take off from Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport after one of its engines malfunctioned, Interfax reported, further clouding the future of Russia's first post-Soviet civil plane project.

The Superjet programme hit uncertainty last year after one of its planes crashed in Indonesia during a promotional flight, which investigators said was due to pilot error and Jakarta air traffic control's lack of a minimum safe altitude system.

Russia's Aeroflot, the only airline operating the aircraft so far, also grounded four of its 10 Superjets earlier this month due to technical problems.

The Sunday evening flight from Moscow to the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was called off after the plane had started gaining speed to take off, news agency Interfax reported on Monday, quoting a source at the airport's air traffic control service.

"For an unknown reason the control system for engine No. 1 failed and the crew decided to abort the take-off," the source said. It was not clear how many passengers were on board.

A source close to Sukhoi confirmed the take-off failure but blamed the problem on the airline's maintenance of the aircraft. Aeroflot did not respond to requests for information.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has championed the project which aims to compete with regional jetmakers like Brazil's Embraer or Canada's Bombardier and help Russia shake off its reputation for poor air safety.

The project is led by Sukhoi - part of state-owned United Aircraft Corporation, an umbrella corporation Putin created in 2006 to reorganise and revive the country's aircraft industry - in partnership with Italy's Finmeccanica.

Russia has declared ambitions to sell $250 billion worth of aircraft by 2025 and overtake even Soviet-era output records to compete with U.S. and European giants.

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (4)
Venerability wrote:
Russia is making more and more deals with Bombardier on both the plane and the train side, including a humongous C-series order confirmed last week.

Russia knows infrastructure improvements will be one of the primary keys to any revival of its fortunes over the next several years.

They are actually being admirably pragmatic, and the new associations with Canada and Bombardier are one reflection of this.

Feb 25, 2013 1:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Venerability wrote:
Bombardier will appear at a major airshow in Australia in a few days and the important Abu Dhabi aircshow next week, either or both of which could lead to new announcements of orders.

Labour Party in UK again! making the Thameslink contract a raging political issue. Two years after the supposed award, the government has not signed the Siemens contract.

And overnight, Canada certified the C-series engine.

Short side countered all this with a totally artificial target lowering from SocGen, which is clearly a strong supporter of Airbus and doing the same ole, same ole. And note that Canada hatchet job will not allow commentary from the Long side.

All of this is par for the course in this very dirty sector. But with all the coming news on both the plane and train side, Longs probably would have the upper hand, if not for the general market malaise.

Journalists’ day on the C-series is in about 10 trading days.

Feb 26, 2013 3:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse wrote:
Vlad will blame the West. Maybe those stolen plans were flawed?

Mar 01, 2013 8:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.